Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Underwear for Ethiopia- HUGE SUCCESS!!!!!

It started with boxes like this...

And, it soon turned into rubbermaid bins packed to the top...

With underwear of all sizes and gender...

And, the results are...
Together we are sending OVER 1,220 pairs of Underwear to Children living in Orphanages in Ethiopia. My initial goal was 100... I am amazed and thankful. Not only does this serve the basic need... BUT IT LETS THEM KNOW THEY ARE LOVED, VALUED, CARED FOR & THOUGHT OF!!!!

And, a special thanks to my fellow blogger who ran a drive in her neighborhood for us... she was able to collect 431 pairs of underwear and then shipped them all to me to take to Ethiopia. Karen you and your friends and family inspire me.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Adoption Celebration Party!!!

Today we were thrown an Adoption Celebration Party by our family. It was so much fun to all be together to celebrate Sweet M*. coming home. Our family did an AMAZING job, the kids played pin the dot on Ethiopia (like pin the tail on the donkey), they colored Ethiopian flags, people were able to make a note for Shea on the scrapbook table and there was the most beautiful cake! But, the part of the day that meant most to me was sitting in a prayer circle being surrounded by so many prayers and well wishes for safe travels and a smooth transition for M* into our family. I can't tell you how loved that made us feel. Sweet M* has already stolen our hearts and the hearts of those that surround us. It is amazing to watch how many people have been touched by this amazing adoption experience. We are excited (& a little nervous) to be so close to finally meeting our son and we thank everyone who has helped us through this process. We leave in just 4 days... I can't believe we are actually at this point!!!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Underwear for Ethiopia Update!!!

I have in my possession over 150 pairs of NEW undies for kids living in orphanages in Ethiopia... plus we have collected $210 in monetary donations which we will use to fill in gaps on sizes/ gender that we do not receive by our deadline next Wed. April 21st.
Plus, another AMAZING mom and blogger was gracious enough to join in and host a drive herself and she sent me an update this morning that she already has received 258 pairs of underwear. 258 pairs!!!!
That means our total thus far is over 400 pairs of NEW/ Packaged Underwear!!!! Good thing I am packing light so we can fill rubbermaid bins of undies :) I already contacted my agency so that they could help find more orphanages in need so that each and every pair will be given to the most needy children.
We are making a difference!!! Thank you Everyone!!!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dear Family & Friends

We leave in One Week!!!

As we prepare to travel and bring home M* we wanted to give everyone a "heads up" on what to expect when we come home. Please try to put yourselves in our boy's shoes... for all of us this is a happy exciting time but, for him it is another scary transition. He is entering a whole new culture, language, and family. To him we are complete strangers. Yes, we sent him photos and a voice recorder so he could hear our voice, and he has also been working with a social worker who is helping to prepare him. But, at almost 3 years old nothing can prepare you for such a HUGE life altering change. So, in order to help us bond and attach with Sweet M* (and allow M* to get used to us and his surroundings) we are requesting that we not have any visitors for at least 2 weeks.
Trust me it is not easy for me to turn away family and friends who come with kindness in their hearts to our door, but I have to protect my son. I have to put that mama bear mentality in action. After the 2 weeks we will re-evaluate where M* is and update everyone on how we will move forward. It very well may be that we sort of stay in incubation for anywhere up to 6-8 weeks.
However, if you do not want to wait that long to see M*'s sweet sweet face in person we are inviting family & friends to meet us at the airport to welcome him home when we arrive on May 7th. We are asking that everyone gives Cuddlebear and Belle a chance to see and meet their brother first, but after that we will all be excited to see familiar faces and share our new son. I can't promise we will hang around long bc I am going to base it completely on M*. If you want details you can leave a comment or send me a facebook message.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Travel Booked!!!

Wow... chaos has stepped in a bit... it is crazy!!! This whole process (adoption) has taken years. I have felt like I have been living in a permanent holding pattern and now all of the sudden not only are things moving... but they are being fast tracked. Last week we found out that we made it into the earlier travel group. This means we will have our Embassy date on May 4th, we have to be in Ethiopia the Tuesday prior to travel to the original orphanage that cared for our son. And, because we are flying Emirates and they stop in Dubai before heading to Ethiopia we decided we should stay and explore a few days there first. Take all that into account and you will realize- we leave NEXT WEEK!!!!
My head is spinning but so far everything is coming together nicely (note- I am writing this before I have packed ANYTHING). We will see how nicely it is coming together after we pack up this weekend :)

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Underwear for Ethiopia

Yes, that's right as funny as it may sound underwear can be a luxury for children living in orphanages. So, we are hosting an Underwear Donation Drive.
We are collecting NEW underwear in UNOPENED packages
now thru April 25th.
My personal goal is to bring 100 pairs of new underwear.
The sizes needed are 2T-12. The greatest need is boys sizes 5-12.
We will deliver the donations to several orphanages in Ethiopia
when we travel to bring our son home.

If you would like more information or to donate leave a comment on this post.
Please remember to leave your email address.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter 2010!!!

Happy Easter!!!

Today was jam-packed with Easter festivities. We were fortunate enough to celebrate with great friends (both new and old) and family. Exhausting... but beautiful. I LOVE being a mom and I love celebrating holidays with family and friends. Today was a GREAT day!!!

Happy Easter!!!

Here are some pictures from the past few days as we counted down to Easter. Our sweet neighbor invites us over every year to decorate eggs and make cupcakes. Belle wasn't too sure she wanted to dye eggs at first. But, in the end as long as she could put a princess sticker on it she was happy. Oh, and as long as she didn't have to put her fingers in the dye. So, mom's fingers were purple for a few days ;) Captain and Cuddlebear had fun spending some time with their buddy who was able to come along... we are pretty excited bc his family (as of today) is now officially moved into our neighborhood- Woot Woot!!! I am sure there are plenty of good memories to come. Now off to bed I go to hopefully catch some sleep for those egg hunts in the morning ;) Happy Easter!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Travel Dates!!!

WOW... I am still flying high with excitement from getting the news that Sweet M* is my son. I can't even put into words the excitement and anticipation that I feel right now. I have a lot of updates so lets get started.

Travel Dates- We found out yesterday that we are traveling May 11-21st. We may leave May 9th if we think we can leave the kiddos and business long enough to visit the orphanage that Sweet M* was in initially. We really want to make this happen but its just a matter of if it is a real possibility or not at this point?? We also are advocating for squeezing in the earlier travel group which would leave April 27th- May 7th. But, our agency is not sure they can process the required paperwork in time. I am keeping my fingers crossed though as those dates would be MUCH better for us. But, either way we are ecstatic. The thought that we will be meeting our son and coming home to finally be a completed family is just overwhelming... and GOOD!

Orphanage Donations- We are starting an underwear donation drive. Our transition house and the orphanage could use boys and girls underwear in sizes 2T-12. We are hoping to bring tubs of NEW/ clean underwear for the kids. I know they are short especially on boys sizes 5-10. If anyone out there in blogland wants to help contribute leave a comment with your email address and I will email you my mailing address.
They are also in need of soy formula (parents choice available at Walmart), diapers in all sizes (but more smaller bc the kiddos are potty trained very young), new and like new kids and teen clothing, dark colored tights for kids 1-4 yrs, lice shampoo, hydrocortizone cream, diaper rash ointment, band aids, multi vitamins (drops for infants, chewable for kids), toothbrushes, toothpaste, & plastic pants.

Some of you have asked if we need anything for Sweet M*. Or if we are having a shower. The answer is thank you so much but, no. We are so lucky to already have EVERYTHING we need for him. What we really would like is for our family and friends who would like to have given a gift to help us by giving donations for us to bring to the transition house and orphanage when we travel. Families that traveled before us have been bringing donations that have helped Sweet M* while he is there. It is a pay it forward type system and we would LOVE to help the kiddos who will follow in our sweet boy's footsteps. And, each little bit helps. We thank you in advance for your generosity and understanding.

Thursday, April 1, 2010


I was woken up at 1am this morning to see that I received an email at 11:46pm from Megan (our agency's program director) informing us that WE PASSED!!!!

Swwt M* is now "officially" our son. We are elated... on cloud 9... and so very thankful for this day. It is about 2am now and I just can't sleep I am so OVERJOYED and EXCITED!!!

Thank you EVERYONE for your support the past few weeks.